Research conducted by BNP Paribas Fortis highlights Belgium's heightened vulnerability compared to other industrialized nations regarding the expenses tied to an ageing population. Among

the 18 countries analyzed in the bank's report, only Italy surpasses Belgium in vulnerability to these costs.

The report emphasizes the urgent necessity for Belgium to implement "structural measures" to mitigate the escalating expenses. It points out that in a 2003 study, Belgium stood at an average level of vulnerability. However, since then, all countries that fared worse in that assessment have surpassed Belgium, except for Italy.

Koen De Leus, the bank's chief economist, highlights that Anglo-Saxon nations exhibit lower vulnerability due to reduced reliance on state pensions and a less adverse evolution of the dependency ratio. This ratio gauges the proportion of individuals over 60 and under 20 concerning the working-age population. Scandinavian countries also showcase relatively favorable standings.

The report gauged vulnerability to ageing by considering indicators such as government revenue, the evolution of the dependency ratio, total net public debt, and the percentage of state pensions. Photo by Andreas Lehner, Wikimedia commons.